Over 100 of the Best Dog Names Inspired by Basketball

My little kiddos love to bounce a basketball around the house on the hardwood floors. The dogs we help watch on Rover love to chase those balls around too. Trying to find the perfect dog name can be difficult and a lot of thought goes into it. I would venture to even say that more time may go into a dog’s name than a child’s name! In an effort to help new dog owners find their perfect name, below are over 100 of the Best Dog Names Inspired by Basketball. This is similar to another post on Dog Names Inspired by Baseball that you can find here!

If you are a basketball fan, then this blog post is for you! Keep on reading to find fun, loving and the best dog names associated with Basketball Teams, Basketball Players, Basketball Mascots, game-related terms, and dog names inspired by women basketball players.

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black dog chewing a basketball

20 Dog Names Inspired by Basketball Teams

Take a look below for some of the best basketball teams that will make great names for your pups! You might already have a favorite team you are thinking of!

My Favorite Basketball Teams

1 – Maverick (Dallas Mavericks, Texas): The Mavericks are known for their innovative owner, Mark Cuban. They won their first NBA championship in 2011.

2 – Celtic (Boston Celtics, Massachusetts): The Celtics hold the record for the most NBA championships, with 17 titles.

3 – Laker (Los Angeles Lakers, California): The Lakers have won multiple championships. They are synonymous with basketball greatness, boasting legends like Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant.

4 – Spur (San Antonio Spurs, Texas): The Spurs are recognized for their strong team culture. They have clinched five NBA championships since 1999.

5 – Bull (Chicago Bulls, Illinois): The Bulls rose to prominence in the 1990s, led by Michael Jordan. They secured six championships in that decade.

6 – Knick (New York Knicks, New York): The Knicks are one of the oldest teams in the NBA and play at the iconic Madison Square Garden.

7 – Rocket (Houston Rockets, Texas): The Rockets won back-to-back championships in the 1990s. I always thought Rocket was a cute name for a small and fast dog!

8 – Heat (Miami Heat, Florida): The Heat won three championships in 2006, 2012, and 2013, and are renowned for their intense defense.

9 – Sixer (Philadelphia 76ers, Pennsylvania): The “76ers” name reflects the historical significance of Philadelphia in the American Revolution of 1776.

10 – Clipper (LA Clippers, California): The Clippers share their home arena with the Lakers and have been making strides to establish their own legacy.

The next best 10 Basketball Teams that make great dog names

11 – Jazz (Utah Jazz, Utah): Despite being initially from New Orleans, the Jazz retained their name after moving to Utah, creating a unique sports culture.

12 – Net (Brooklyn Nets, New York): The Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, becoming the borough’s first major professional sports team since the Dodgers left in 1957.

13 – Raptor (Toronto Raptors, Ontario, Canada): The Raptors are the only Canadian team in the NBA and won their first championship in 2019. This name would be great for a German Shepherd.

14 – Hawk (Atlanta Hawks, Georgia): The Hawks have a rich history and were initially based in St. Louis before moving to Atlanta.

15 – Blazer (Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon): The Blazers’ name stems from the path blazed through forests during the Oregon Trail migration.

16 – Grizzly (Memphis Grizzlies, Tennessee): The team’s name pays homage to the region’s native wildlife, and they moved to Memphis from Vancouver. Love this name for a Bernese Mountain Dog.

17 – Timberwolf (Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota): The Timberwolves’ name is a nod to the state’s timber industry and the wolf’s association with the region.

18 – Warrior (Golden State Warriors, California): The Warriors have a storied history and have won multiple championships, including recent successes.

19 – Wizard (Washington Wizards, D.C.): The team’s name change from “Bullets” aimed to promote a positive image and discourage gun violence.

20 – Hornet (Charlotte Hornets, North Carolina): The Hornets’ name reflects the region’s revolutionary history, as well as the fierce and relentless nature of the Hornet.

These basketball-inspired team names offer a variety of options for naming your dog while celebrating the history and achievements of these iconic NBA franchises

bulldog with a basetbal out in a field

30 Dog Names Inspired by Famous Basketball Players

If your favorite sport is basketball then you probably already know the best players in the game. Check out some professional baseball players below that could inspire a few puppy names.

Well-Known Players

1 – Kobe (Kobe Bryant): Named after the late Kobe Bryant, this name embodies determination and greatness. Kobe won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and earned the nickname “Black Mamba” for his tenacity on the court. A great name for any pup!

2. – LeBron (LeBron James): Inspired by LeBron James, this name signifies leadership and athleticism. LeBron has played all five positions during his career.

3 – Jordan (Michael Jordan): Named after the basketball legend Michael Jordan, this name represents excellence and competitiveness. Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players ever. He won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

4. –Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal): This name is a nod to Shaquille O’Neal’s dominant presence on and off the court. Shaq is not only a basketball star but also a versatile entertainer, with a career in music, acting, and even law enforcement.

5 – Magic (Magic Johnson): Magic Johnson earned his nickname due to his exceptional passing and ball-handling skills, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to multiple championships.

6 – Larry (Larry Bird): Larry Bird is known for his rivalry with Magic Johnson. As well as his remarkable shooting and leadership with the Boston Celtics. Definitely belongs to a lazy dog for some reason in my mind.

7 – Duncan (Tim Duncan): Tim Duncan spent his 19-year NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, winning five championships and earning the nickname “The Big Fundamental.”

8 – Dirk (Dirk Nowitzki): Dirk is known for revolutionizing the game as a 7-foot-tall player with exceptional shooting skills He led the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA championship.

Popular Basketball Player Names That Make Great Dog Names

9 – Kareem (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar): Kareem is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and won six championships with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

10. Wilt (Wilt Chamberlain): Wilt is known for his remarkable feats. Including scoring 100 points in a single game and averaging over 50 points per game in a season.

11 – Russell (Bill Russell): Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, the most by any player in NBA history.

12 – Hakeem (Hakeem Olajuwon): Hakeem is known for his exceptional footwork and “Dream Shake” move. He led the Houston Rockets to two consecutive championships.

13 – Karl (Karl Malone): Karl Malone is second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and played the majority of his career with the Utah Jazz.

14. –Clyde (Clyde Drexler): Clyde Drexler was a key player in the Houston Rockets’ back-to-back championships and also played for the Portland Trail Blazers.

15 – Penny (Penny Hardaway): Penny Hardaway was a versatile guard known for his creativity and skills with the Orlando Magic. I can see a very floppy-eared dog with this charming name.

16 – Reggie (Reggie Miller): Reggie Miller was a long-time Indiana Pacer. He is known for his epic battles with the New York Knicks.

17 – Steve (Steve Nash): Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, is known for his playmaking skills and leadership on the court.

18 – Kevin (Kevin Durant): Kevin Durant is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history and has won multiple scoring titles.

19 – Dwyane (Dwyane Wade): Dwyane Wade, also known as “Flash,” was a key player in the Miami Heat’s championship successes.

20 – Chauncey (Chauncey Billups): Chauncey Billups was a vital part of the Detroit Pistons’ championship run.

Great Basketball Player Names for Dog Names

21 – Manu (Manu Ginóbili): Named after Manu Ginóbili, this name embodies international flair and creativity on the court.

22 – Dennis (Dennis Rodman): Named after Dennis Rodman, this name signifies tenacity and defensive prowess. Dennis Rodman is one of the best rebounders and defenders in NBA history, winning multiple championships. Also has a bit of flare to him and spunk.

23 – Carmelo (Carmelo Anthony): Carmelo Anthony is known for his scoring prowess. He has been a star on multiple NBA teams.

24 – Klay (Klay Thompson): Klay Thompson is one half of the “Splash Brothers”. He also holds the record for most points scored in a single quarter.

25 – Jerry (Jerry West): Jerry West is an NBA legend who played for the Los Angeles Lakers and later became a successful executive.

26 – Ben (Ben Wallace): Ben Wallace was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a key player in the Detroit Pistons’ championship run.

27 – Tony (Tony Parker): Tony Parker, a French point guard, won multiple championships with the San Antonio Spurs.

28 – Rasheed (Rasheed Wallace): Inspired by Rasheed Wallace, this name signifies versatility and defensive prowess. Rasheed Wallace was a skilled big man known for his inside-out game and passionate demeanor.

29 – Muggsy (Muggsy Bogues): Named after Muggsy Bogues, this name embodies perseverance and skill despite height limitations. Muggsy Bogues is one of the shortest players in NBA history but had a successful career as a point guard.

30 – Spud (Spud Webb): Named after Spud Webb, this name brings a sense of surprise and athleticism. Spud Webb was not as tall as other basketball players but won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986.

35 Dog Names Inspired by Basketball Team Mascots 

You may like a basketball team simply for their fun mascot. Based on your dog’s personality you might find that a mascot from a basketball team provides a great name. See below for 35 dog Names Inspired by Basketball team Mascots.

Cute Basketball Mascots That Make Great Dog Names

1 – Benny (Benny the Bull): Associated with the Chicago Bulls. Benny is known for his high-energy antics and entertaining performances during games.

2 – Hooper (Hooper the Horse): Associated with the Detroit Pistons. Fun Fact: Hooper is a horse who entertains fans with his playful personality and engaging antics at Pistons games.

3 – Boomer (Boomer the Panther): Associated with the Portland Trail Blazers. Fun Fact: Boomer is a panther who brings a dynamic presence to Trail Blazers games, capturing the team’s spirit.

4 – Lucky (Lucky the Leprechaun): Associated with the Boston Celtics. Lucky is a mischievous leprechaun who represents the Celtics’ Irish heritage and adds a touch of magic to games.

5 – Hairy (Hairy the Lion): Associated with the Sacramento Kings. Hairy is a lion who adds a roar of excitement to Kings games with his energetic routines and fan interactions.

6 – Jack (Jack the Bulldog): Associated with the Butler Bulldogs (college basketball). Jack appears at Butler Bulldogs games and represents the university’s mascot.

7 – Otto (Otto the Orange): Associated with the Syracuse Orange (college basketball). Fun Fact: Otto is a playful orange that brings energy and color to Syracuse Orange games.

8 – Sparty (Sparty): Associated with the Michigan State Spartans (college basketball). Fun Fact: Sparty is a muscular Spartan warrior mascot that symbolizes the strength and determination of the Spartans.

9 – Harry (Harry the Hawk): Associated with the Atlanta Hawks. Fun Fact: Harry is a charismatic hawk who entertains fans with his energetic routines and humorous interactions.

Tough Basketball Mascots That Make Great Dog Names

10 – Rocky (Rocky the Mountain Lion): Associated with the Denver Nuggets. Rocky loves to do stunts and interact with fans at the Nuggets games.

11 – G-Wiz (G-Wiz the Wizard): Associated with the Washington Wizards. G-Wiz adds a touch of magic to Wizards games with his playful personality and wizardly antics.

12 – Clutch (Clutch the Bear): Associated with the Houston Rockets. Clutch is a bear who brings fiery enthusiasm and entertaining performances to Rockets games.

13 – Spike (Spike the Bulldog): Associated with the Boston Celtics. Spike is a lovable bulldog who rallies the crowd with his spirited presence and support for the Celtics.

14 – Rumble (Rumble the Bison): Associated with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rumble is a strong and energetic bison who charges up the crowd with his dynamic performances.

15 – Raptor (Raptors the Raptor): The Raptor has energetic dance routines during Toronto Basketball games.

16 – G-Man (G-Man the Gorilla): Associated with the Phoenix Suns. G-Man is a gorilla who embodies the fun-loving spirit of Suns fans and brings a lively atmosphere to games.

17 – Rowdy (Rowdy the Cowboy): Associated with the Dallas Cowboys (NFL mascot version). Rowdy is a cowboy mascot that embodies the team’s iconic image and cowboy heritage.

18 – Sir Saint (Sir Saint): Associated with the New Orleans Saints (NFL mascot version). Sir Saint is a cheerful knight mascot that adds a lighthearted touch to New Orleans Saints NFL games.

19 – Boltman (Boltman): Associated with the Los Angeles Chargers (NFL mascot version). Boltman is a supercharged character that represents the energetic spirit of the Chargers.

Silly Basketball Mascots that make great Dog Names

20 – Hugo (Hugo the Hornet): Associated with the Charlotte Hornets. Hugo is a friendly hornet who brings an energetic and vibrant presence to Hornets games.

21 – Crunch (Crunch the Wolf): Associated with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Crunch has wild energy and an adventurous spirit, bringing a howling good time to Timberwolves games.

Bango (Bango the Buck): Associated with the Milwaukee Bucks. Bango is known for his acrobatic dunks and energetic displays that elevate the excitement at Bucks games.

Hip Hop (Hip Hop the Rabbit): Associated with the Philadelphia 76ers (previous version). Hip Hop is a legendary mascot for doing daring stunts and memorable performances during games.

WuShock (WuShock the Wheat Shock): Associated with the Wichita State Shockers (college basketball). WuShock is a unique and spirited mascot that embodies the school’s agricultural heritage.

Bernie (Bernie the Saint Bernard): Associated with the Utah Jazz. Bernie is a friendly Saint Bernard who brings warmth and excitement to Utah Jazz games.

Big Red (Big Red): Associated with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (college basketball). Big Red is a lovable and goofy mascot that embodies the Hilltoppers’ spirit and pride.

Staley (Staley da Bear): Associated with the Chicago Bears (NFL mascot version). Staley is a bear mascot that embodies the team spirit and camaraderie of the Chicago Bears.

Blitz (Blitz the Seahawk): Associated with the Seattle Seahawks (NFL mascot version). Blitz is a Seahawk mascot that brings energy and excitement to Seattle’s NFL games.

Swoop (Swoop the Eagle): Associated with the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL mascot version). Swoop is an eagle mascot that symbolizes strength and determination for the Philadelphia Eagles.

basketball player dunking a ball and a lab next to him

6 Dog Names Inspired by Basketball-Related Terms

Your four-legged friend might remind you of a famous basketball term like Slam Dunk. Maybe you have one of those cute and highly skilled border collies that can actually dunk a basketball! See the list of names below that are inspired by basketball-related terms.

  1. Dunk (Dunking): A dunk is a forceful and powerful move where a player jumps and scores by putting the ball directly through the hoop with one or both hands.
  2. Swish (Swishing): A “swish” refers to a shot that goes through the basket without touching the rim or backboard, producing a clean and satisfying sound.
  3. Alley (Alley-Oop): An alley-oop is a coordinated play where one player throws the ball near the basket and another player jumps to catch and score with a dunk or layup in one fluid motion.
  4. Jumper (Jump Shot): A jump shot is a shooting technique where a player jumps into the air to release the ball over defenders, aiming to score from various distances on the court.
  5. Fader (Fadeaway Shot): A fadeaway shot is a difficult and graceful shot where a player jumps away from the defender while releasing the ball, creating separation for a higher chance of scoring.
  6. Buzzer (Buzzer Beater): A buzzer beater is a shot made just before the game clock or shot clock expires, often adding excitement to the end of quarters or the game.

16 Basketball Inspired Female Dog Names

  1. Skylar: Inspired by Skylar Diggins-Smith, a prominent female basketball player known for her skills and leadership on the court.
  2. Maya: Named after Maya Moore, a basketball superstar who took a hiatus from the sport to focus on social justice efforts.
  3. Sue: Inspired by Sue Bird, a legendary point guard who has won multiple championships with the Seattle Storm and is known for her court vision.
  4. Breanna: Breanna Stewart was a young star who has achieved remarkable success in both college and professional basketball.
  5. Tamika: Inspired by Tamika Catchings, a former WNBA player who overcame hearing impairment to become one of the league’s greatest players.
  6. Seimone: Named after Seimone Augustus, a skilled shooting guard known for her scoring prowess.
  7. Nneka: Named after Nneka Ogwumike, an exceptional player known for her versatility and impact on and off the court.
  8. Tina: Inspired by Tina Thompson, a basketball legend and one of the pioneers of the WNBA.
  9. Asia: Inspired by Asia Wilson, a rising star in the WNBA known for her dominant presence in the post.
  10. Sylvia: Named after Sylvia Fowles, a dominant center and one of the best-shot blockers in the history of the WNBA.
  11. Angel: Inspired by Angel McCoughtry, a skilled player known for her scoring and defensive prowess.
  12. Kelsey: Named after Kelsey Plum, a talented point guard who holds the NCAA record for most points scored in a single season.
  13. Brittney: Inspired by Brittney Griner, a formidable presence in the post known for her shot-blocking and dunking ability.
  14. Jackie: Named after Jackie Stiles, a former college basketball standout known for her scoring records.
  15. Swin: Inspired by Swin Cash, a retired player who won multiple championships and made significant contributions on and off the court.
  16. Ticha: Inspired by Ticha Penicheiro, a legendary point guard known for her passing and leadership skills.


Incorporating the excitement of basketball into your furry friend’s identity can be a slam dunk of creativity and devotion. A basketball-inspired name from legendary players to iconic team mascots and essential basketball terms, the realm of basketball offers a treasure trove of inspiration for naming your canine companion. As you welcome a brand new puppy into your family, consider giving them a name that reminds you of your love for basketball. Remember the best name for your new pup, is anyone they can actually remember. Be sure to check out some fun blog posts on puppies to help with being a new puppy owner!